Contribute to support this content
To hell with polls! Sprint through that finish line! Run up that score! Get more Democrats elected!

To hell with polls! Sprint through that finish line! Run up that score! Get more Democrats elected!

The polls are looking good for the state-wide candidates in Virginia.

Northam is up 7 in the last poll released, the Democratic Lt Governor was up 8, all of the statewide races are up. That is great news for Virginia.

After last year though, we can’t rely on polls. We must sprint through the finish line. Now, polling does give you an indication of where you are at now. So doing what we are doing we are in a good position. The question becomes, how can we turn this advantage into a blow out victory in these races?

An aside on what prompted this diary.

So, I had a small exchange with a Kos user last week that provided the germ for this diary. Ralph Northam was way up in the last Rasmussen poll. That information was provided in a post about the racist Trump tweets endorsing Gillespie. I am not getting into the details of this discussion since this diary is not about that, but an outline of what spurred this is useful.

It basically went like this:

other commenter: Even Gillespie hasn’t released a poll showing himself up.

me: in the last month of the race last year did Trump? Did anyone?

other commenter: Is there reason to think that the extremely unusual polling miss last year is likely to be replicated here?

me: I think relying on polling in elections is questionable in any year. If it is up you can make your supporters sanguine when maybe they ought not to be.

What I have come to realize, upon reflection, is that my last reply does not really even capture the bigger danger. Beyond making people sanguine about the top of the ticket races, we further ignore important down-ballot races. There is a massive opportunity in Virginia, one we need to pursue aggressively through election day and beyond.

Finding those other opportunities to run up the score and get more Democrats elected.

I have done some digging through more numbers on House of Delegates races. This time, since people seem to be happy with where we are at in terms of the governor’s race, I looked at Delegate races where no Democrat ran in 2013 (the last governor’s race) but have candidates now.

It points to some huge opportunities both up and down the ballot. Opportunities the party apparatus and even sites like Kos are just letting slip through our fingers. Northam is up, let’s take this chance to exploit some of these other opportunities.

In 2013, Democrats competed for 68 House of Delegates seats and did not contest in 32 races. Here is a summary on how these races turned out:

table.JPG

So what are we looking at here?

Well, this is my take-away, there is clearly an advantage to running delegate candidates, even when we do not win. On average we drew 404 votes more for the Governor’s race when we fielded a candidate in the House of Delegates race that year. That may not seem like a lot, but across 32 uncontested races we likely would have added 14,140 votes to the Governor’s tally. That would not have been decisive in 2013, but it could have swung the Governor's race in other years. It definitely could help Lt Governor and other statewide races as well.

More telling is the Republican governor votes. In Delegate races we compete in, even if we lose, the Republican gubernatorial candidate lags by 1,597 votes behind races we did not field a candidate in. Running matters.

So, how do you turn this data into action?

It is our good fortune to have 88 Democrats challenging for these House of Delegates seats. There have been a ton of resources (comparatively speaking) poured in the “Clinton 17,” districts. House of Delegates districts Hillary won in 2016. That is all well and good, there are a lot of great candidates to support in that group for sure, but the target range could and should be bigger than that, particularly since Northam and all of the statewide races appear to be on the right track.

To find great prospects from other campaigns to support, let’s take a look at races that were not contested in 2013, but do have Democratic contenders this cycle. The key data here is the margin in the Governor’s race. These are the narrowest margins in the Governor’s race, even without a Democrat contesting the Delegate race in that cycle. This shows a willingness to vote Democrat, in off-cycle years, that has gone untapped because there was no contender in the district.

Here are the top 6 prospects from this group, excluding districts in the “Clinton 17.”

Here are districts we should target based on this history.

All of these are districts we did not challenge in 2013. Click the district number for a data profile of the district, click the candidate's name to link to their website. Donate at the links in the caption of the candidate photos.

David_-_Rose-Carmack.jpg

District 83David Rose-Carmack

  • 2013 Democratic votes for Governor = 8,607
  • 2013 Republican votes for Governor = 9,555
  • Republican margin = 948
  • Votes needed to flip = 474

This district is in the Virginia Beach area. Looking at this history, such a close race in 2013 means that with some additional resources dedicated here, this is a great opportunity to filp a delegate seat blue AND run up the score in statewide races.

From his campaign website:

The people of the 83rd haven’t had a choice in 8 years. As your Delegate, I will support legislation to put in place a non-partisan redistricting board or computer program that draws district lines that reflect communities, not political lines. That way, we can bring greater choice to elections and accountability to our government.

Joshua_Cole.jpg

District 28Joshua Cole

  • 2013 Democratic votes for Governor = 8,803
  • 2013 Republican votes for Governor = 9,781
  • Republican margin = 978
  • Votes needed to flip = 489

This district is in the Fredericksburg area. Looking at this history, such a close race in 2013 means that with some additional resources dedicated here, this is a great opportunity to filp a delegate seat blue AND run up the score in statewide races.

From his campaign website:

As a lifelong resident of Stafford County, Joshua personally knows the struggles and issues that face the 28th House District. Joshua is seeking your vote in order to properly represent those whom politicians have forgotten and looked over. He seeks to be their voice, a voice of change and new direction for all people in the 28th District.

Sheila_Bynum-Coleman.jpg

District 62Sheila Bynum Coleman

  • 2013 Democratic votes for Governor = 8,538
  • 2013 Republican votes for Governor = 10,315
  • Republican margin = 1,777
  • Votes needed to flip = 889

This district is in the Chesterfield County and Richmond area. Looking at this history, such a close race in 2013 means that with some additional resources dedicated here, this is a great opportunity to filp a delegate seat blue AND run up the score in statewide races.

From her campaign website:

As I go door-to-door and talk with people in the 62nd district, I find many of us face the same, if not similar, problems. The desire for change is overwhelming. Many of you have discussed issues and concerns with me, and I understand these challenges. I have worked for many years to address different concerns within our community. I have advocated and fought for a better Virginia and I will continue this fight as your Legislator. Now is the time to have your voice heard for who will represent you and your family's needs.  You now have a choice in 2017. Vote for Sheila!

Larry_Barnett2.jpg

District 27Larry Barnett

  • 2013 Democratic votes for Governor = 10,287
  • 2013 Republican votes for Governor = 12,298
  • Republican margin = 2,011
  • Votes needed to flip = 1,006

This district is in Chesterfield County south of Richmond. Looking at this history, such a close race in 2013 means that with some additional resources dedicated here, this is a great opportunity to filp a delegate seat blue AND run up the score in statewide races.

From his campaign website:

The most important issue to me is what is important to you.

You can depend on me to hear your concerns and do my best to respond to you.  My life has been devoted to public service in my community.  I promise to work hard and be a responsive public servant to all the people I have the privilege to represent.

KAT2.JPG

District 81Kimberly Anne Tucker

  • 2013 Democratic votes for Governor = 7,207
  • 2013 Republican votes for Governor = 9,664
  • Republican margin = 2,457
  • Votes needed to flip = 1,229

This district is in the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake area. Looking at this history, such a close race in 2013 means that with some additional resources dedicated here, this is a great opportunity to filp a delegate seat blue AND run up the score in statewide races.

From her campaign website:

But it was a journey through our healthcare system that inspired the cornerstone of her campaign for the House of Delegates. Kimberly was successful in a battle against cancer but understood that there might have been a very different outcome if it weren’t for the excellent medical coverage she was fortunate enough to have. That insight inspired her campaign for the House of Delegates and motivated her commitment to ensuring that every man, woman, and child in Virginia has the coverage they need.

Al_Durante_FB.jpg

District 54Al Durante

  • 2013 Democratic votes for Governor = 7,915
  • 2013 Republican votes for Governor = 10,380
  • Republican margin = 2,465
  • Votes needed to flip = 1,233

This district is in the Tidewater region. Looking at this history, such a close race in 2013 means that with some additional resources dedicated here, this is a great opportunity to filp a delegate seat blue AND run up the score in statewide races.

From his campaign website:

I want to represent you in Richmond, to put your needs above party politics, to do what’s best for our community. I want state government to work for everyone in my district, the 54th House District (Spotsylvania and Caroline counties), not just incumbent politicians and special interests.

TO VIEW AN INDEX OF ALL DEMOCRATS CHALLENGING FOR REPUBLICAN-HELD DISTRICTS IN THIS FALL’S VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES RACES CLICK HERE.

Battleground Ohio - The Ohio General Assembly - parting a sea of red.

Battleground Ohio - The Ohio General Assembly - parting a sea of red.

32 days to help voters in "Red America" to vote FOR their own interests.

32 days to help voters in "Red America" to vote FOR their own interests.